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Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

'Nervous' markets await Portugal bond sale

European economies are watching nervously as Portugal goes to the bond markets.

Economics editor Stephanie Flanders explained that no-one was worried that Portugal would not be able to sell its bonds, but rather that the price might make their economic plans unsustainable without a bail-out.

It is not so much Portugal in itself that has people worried, "but what it symbolises," she said.

For those, like former Chancellor Norman Lamont, who have always been critical of the eurozone, the way the situation has been slowly dealt with is a "worry".

"Unless action is taken very quickly, the markets are going to get very nervous," he told Today presenter John Humphrys.

But German ambassador Georg Boomgaarden completely rejected the "narrative" of criticisms that the eurozone had been slow to react.

Markets, which did not perceive the risks of sub-prime mortgages, are now nervous "at rather good risks" over national bonds.

"If markets get nervous… they will lose money over that," he says.

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